To begin with, I have one confession and one warning. Reginald Hill is my absolute favourite author. I could read his shopping list and rave about it, so I have no pretence here of objectivity.
Now the warning. If you have yet to read Reginald Hill’s DEATH OF DALZIEL (published in the U.S.A. under the title Death Comes for the Fat Man) then stop right now. Don’t read any further, because it is impossible to write a review of A CURE FOR ALL DISEASES without creating a spoiler for Hill’s previous Dalziel and Pascoe novel.
That sorted; on to A CURE FOR ALL DISEASES, which opens with Andy Dalziel reluctantly languishing in a convalescent home after his brush with death in a bomb blast. Sitting around doing nothing and being poked and prodded by all and sundry on the nursing staff doesn’t sit well with Andy. He’s tetchy and dying for a cleansing ale at a pub. As part of his recovery therapy Andy has been given a little hand held recorder in which he is expected to record his thoughts. At first he scoffs at the idea, but then somehow he finds himself talking to this contraption which he has christened “Mildred”.
Into the town comes Charlotte Heywood, a newly graduated psychologist who is thinking of writing a paper about the psychology of alternative therapies. There’s no shortage of practitioners around Sandytown. Andy discovers Charlotte is the daughter of an old rugby foe and the two become friends.
There is a lot of development being planned for Sandytown; not all of it popular. When one of the developers is found murdered, Peter Pascoe and the team are called in. Andy isn’t used to having to sit on the sidelines of an investigation and although he has no official status, how can he not become involved.